Secrets of Spoleto: Umbria, Italy Cooking Vacation
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Secrets of Spoleto and Umbrian Cooking - NEW

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Umbria is Italy's spellbinding heart of natural beauty and is acclaimed for its culinary authenticity and genuineness, even by Italians themselves. Spoleto — your home for this classic and acclaimed culinary, historic, and artistic adventure — is a center of culture for its many attractions, from its festivals to its ancient sites and cuisine. Often described as a little piece of heaven fallen to earth, it's a town that truly embodies the history of Italy at every turn. The cuisine here is rustic, and while sometimes referred to "peasant cooking," it truly is from the land, with ingredients like farro, wild herbs, truffles, and lentils, as well as a plethora of cured meats.

Explore this wonderful town with a guide by your side, well-known artist and activist Richard di San Marzano. Richard has created events and organized trips for many famous actors and artists. He will help you discover the many secrets of Umbria, both culinary and otherwise!

During your culinary adventure in Spoleto, stay in a magnificent 15th-century and family-run historic residence, the Palazzo Dragoni. Situated just feet from the Duomo, it's wonderfully located in the heart of this beautiful hill town. Many rooms offer sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding hill towns and vineyards. (Depedending on availability, accommodations at the historic Palazzo Leti might be proposed instead.)

Chef AlfredoAbout your cooking classes: This 6-night cooking vacation demonstrates how art and history connect with the gastronomy of a place. You'll discover these connections in part by four hands-on cooking classes, which are all lead by different chefs or cooks. You'll cook with a Michelin-starred chef, Eros Patrizi, as well as Mamma Proietti of a popular local restaurant, who loves to share her family's recipes. You'll also cook with the young Chef Alfredo of your hotel, as well as a true mountain country cook Angela, whose traditional lore and skills are remarkable.

Secrets of Spoleto and Umbrian Cooking - NEW Itinerary

Day 1

Order of activities may vary based on season and dates booked.

  • Arrive at Spoleto train station and transfer to the town center to check into Palazzo Dragoni.
  • Begin your trip with a welcome aperitif with your host, Richard di San Marzano, followed by a gourmet welcome dinner.
  • Overnight.

Day 2

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, embark on an orientation walk to get to know the ancient town of Spoleto. Visit the Duomo, famous for its facade and Fra’ Fillipo Lippi’s final fresco cycle; as well as the market square that dates back to 200 BC. You’ll also have time to stroll the maze of enchanting lanes that characterize Spoleto as one of Italy’s most beautiful hill towns.
  • Enjoy a light seasonal lunch al fresco, weather permitting.
  • In the afternoon, begin your first hands-on cooking class with Chef Alfredo by making fresh pasta by hand. You’ll also create an entire Italian menu.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts in the magnificent candle-lit 500-year-old dining room of your hotel.
  • Overnight.

Day 3

  • Following breakfast, embark on a trip to one of Italy’s best-kept secrets, the Valnerina. This high valley region features stunning small hilltop towns and villages in a dramatic verdant landscape. During the tour, explore spellbinding villages that look like they belong in a picture book.
  • Take part in your second hands-on cooking with Angela in her restaurant. The lesson will focus on rustic mountain cuisine and the products popular in the area, particularly farro, lentils, free-range meat, wild herbs, and honey.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Return to Spoleto in the late afternoon for some time on your own.
  • If you’re still hungry, dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day 4

  • Breakfast.
  • Start the day with a visit to La Rocca, a military fortress that dominates the valley of Spoleto with its museum, frescoed rooms, and massive viaduct. Take a scenic walk and discover the castle’s extraordinary history.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the afternoon, meet Mama Proietti for a memorable cooking class at a local restaurant where the dishes will be a surprise (but will be based on the season)!
  • Dinner to follow the class based on what you made — and perhaps more! The seemingly never-ending feast will be served by Mama Proietti’s son.
  • Overnight.

Day 5

  • Breakfast.
  • This morning, take a country stroll through a scenic vineyard on your way to the tiny medieval walled-town of Bevagna, which is interestingly characterized by how history has been incorporated over time. Roman sites coexist with modern buildings.
  • Next, it’s on to Montefalco, a town famous for its wine. Experience a wine tasting at one of Italy’s most prestigious wine makers, along with some food pairings for a light lunch.
  • In the afternoon, it’s time to visit one of Umbria’s oldest olive mills to learn about one of Italy’s most important ingredients: olive oil. Discover the secrets of olive oil, how it is produced, the different qualities of olive oil, and how to taste and select it. Along the way your host will also share what life is like at an olive mill.
  • Dinner to follow at the olive mill, a unique opportunity to experience the tradition and art of Italian dining at its purest. (In the rare case the olive mill dinner is not available, an alternative dinner in a private setting will be substituted).
  • Overnight.

Day 6

  • After breakfast, enjoy some time on your own to shop and stroll in Spoleto. Perhaps sit in one of the piazzas with a cappuccino and people watch.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the afternoon, return to the kitchen for one last hands-on cooking class, this time led by Chef Eros Patrizi who leads master classes for cooks of all skill levels.
  • Dinner to follow in Chef Eros’s elegant Michelin-starred restaurant “Tempio del gusto” – a magical experience!
  • Overnight.

Day 7

  • Breakfast followed by check out and transfer to Spoleto train station.